A Forest Lake Area High School student with a passion for agricultural education closed out his high school career in winning fashion.

Joe Ramstad, 18, was named the 2015 Star in Agriscience by the Minnesota FFA at the agricultural group’s 86th annual spring convention.

He qualified for the honor by teaching agricultural literacy classes in the Forest Lake district’s community education program.

Ramstad now plans to pursue an agricultural education degree at the University of Minnesota.

“He has a passion to combat the stereotype of agriculture being only about cows, plows and sows,” a Minnesota FFA Association news release said. “He would love to teach at an urban high school where he can help educate people about the many opportunities available in agriculture.”

In May, Ramstad also was recognized locally by the Lakes Area Youth Service Bureau as a role model for youth. He was named youth recipient of the group’s annual “On Behalf of Youth Award.” Katherine (Katie) Vasil, dean of students at Century Junior High in Forest Lake, was the adult honoree.

The bureau began in 1976 as a diversion program for first-time juvenile offenders, but since has expanded to include youth enrichment and leadership programs.

District 833

Competition begins for summer readers

A year after launching its first summer photo contest, the South Washington County School District again is asking students and staff members: Where in the world are you reading this summer?

Students and staff members are invited to have photos taken of themselves reading and to send the photos to info@sowashco.org for posting on the district’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/sowashco.

The photo with the most “likes” at the end of the contest will win a prize donated by district staff members, the district said. Entries are being accepted through Sept. 4 and votes will be taken through Sept. 7.

The district started the contest to encourage students to continue reading through the summer.

Last year, 84 entries were received, and prizes were given to a first-grade student at Nuevas Fronteras Spanish Immersion School and to two pairs of sisters at Middleton and Red Rock elementary schools, respectively. The Middleton students won second place for a photo of them reading “Harry Potter” at Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, England.


School district hosts free summer meals

The Stillwater Area Public Schools District is offering free breakfast and lunch this summer to area children who are 2-18 years old.

The federally funded program runs Mondays through Fridays in the cafeteria at Stillwater Junior High, 523 W. Marsh St., the district said in a news release.

Breakfast is served from 8:15 to 8:45 a.m. and lunch from 11:15 to 11:45 a.m. through Aug. 21.

“Families will not be asked to fill out paperwork and no names will be taken — kids just need to show up to eat!” the district said.

Menus are expected to include hot and cold meal options.

The district has requested that an adult accompany children to the cafeteria, stay with them while they eat and then escort them from the school when they are finished.

District takes first step on school site

A tentative agreement has been reached for the purchase of a Woodbury site as the future home of a new Stillwater school district elementary school.

The district plans to build the school to serve the growing number of students in its southwest corner.

The prospective purchase is subject to a 120-day due diligence period. If the deal is finalized, the school would be built near Eagle Brook Church at 11179 Brookview Road.

Anthony Lonetree